First let us define antique floor lamp. Needless to say a floor lamp normally rests upon the ground instead of resting upon a table, the wall or the ceiling. The general definition of an old-fashioned means something from the bygone era. best cat litter box furniture This places the word outside the legal arena and into common usage. “era” is general perceived and is defined as a long indefinite time period which also computes perfectly for this general definition.
This general definition works perfectly since any identification of an “antique floor lamp” is rather useless without some time period designation normally in the form of circa 1905 which literally means “concerning the year 1905”. So I will use the word antique floor lamp with this basis and often substitute it with the term vintage floor lamp. This discussion does not address modern reproductions of antique lamps which is another subject to itself.
Increasing numbers of people are learning to appreciate the product quality and styling of antique floor lamps especially as most of the ones being produced today are molded plastic and literally made to be disposed of. Most all floor lamp makers from the turn of the century made their lamps from heavy metals such as cast iron, brass, steel and cast zinc sometimes combined with marble, onyx, glass and stone. Our lamp shop regularly restores these antique floor lights for resale as well as for the customers’ own use.
From our 30 years of experience it is clear that many of these antique floor lamps will last since way back when. The electrical components, the fabric shades and the painted finishes often need restoration but most were made out of such fine quality, that they are a much better value than brand new high end lamps that sell for many hundreds of dollars. You will discover various other surprises about these collectible works of art below.
High quality, beauty and function were powerful influences on the makers of antique floor lights. Many people know about their outstanding quality and beauty but completely surprised concerning the highly developed functional and technical characteristics. There are far too many examples to list here but I am going to mention a couple of the more important ones.
The brightest lamp that you can purchase today in any store was designed and made circa 1920. Additionally it is the most versatile lamp you can buy anywhere. Further it will outlast most any modern lamp that one could find at any price. This antique floor lamp is well known by a numerous names such as: 6 Way Floor Lamp, Reflector Floor Lamp, and “JUNIOR”. The design begins with much metal base sometimes highly decorated having an upright tubing leading up to a central electrical socket surrounded by 3 arm lights (4 lights total).
The central light requires a 3 way bulb (low-medium-high) that is often a MOGUL size which is larger than a typical socket with higher wattage (100-200-300 watts). The three arm lights are controlled by a switch that can start separately just 1, 2 or all 3 of the arm lights. Further, many of these JUNIORS had a small light under the base which provided an extremely subtle night time floor light operated by way of a foot switch mounted on the side of the base.
As if this weren’t enough, the central top socket is encased in a large metal cup which holds a white waffle patterned glass bowl that reflects light upward to bounce of the ceiling. A fabric or silk shade (also called JUNIOR shade) rests upon the glass reflector bowl to reflect light downward for reading. An individual arm light can provide a simple night light or at it brightest setting, it could light up a whole room. There is absolutely no brighter lamp or even more versatile lamp available anywhere today and it was designed and made nearly a century ago!
One of the better reading lamps on the globe was also designed circa 1920. It has been highly imitated but it still remains unchallenged. The Bridge Arm Floor Lamp or Bridge Lamp includes a typical floor lamp design with metal base and upright standard which can take the form of various forms of decorated tubing, twisted iron rods, etc. At the top of the standard is a decorative cast metal arm with a graceful arc or curvature which ends with an electrical socket pointing downward and covered by a fabric or glass shade.
This has the effect of offsetting the light by about 14-18″ from the upright standard as well lowering it in order that it is nearer to the reading material or work project. The effect is a superb reading lamp or work lamp which places the lamp very near the task accessible. Many of these Bridge Arm FLOOR LIGHTS have convenient pull chains which hang below underneath of the lampshade for ease of operation.